Thursday, February 16th, 2017
HMRC have issued amended guidance for alcohol traders. This guidance had one major change to the one released on 15/02/17 which had stated rather unrealistically that purchasers of alcohol must check to see if the supplier is registered for AWRS with regard to every purchase. This has now been amended as below:
Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme (‘AWRS’)
Do you produce or sell alcohol wholesale?
If you sell alcohol to another business you may need to apply to register for AWRS. If you are planning to start a business doing this, you must apply at least 45 days before your business starts.
If you haven’t yet made an application, do it now. There are penalties if you continue to trade without approval.
Do you buy alcohol to sell to others?
From 1 April 2017, if you buy alcohol from UK suppliers to sell to others, you must check that your supplier has been approved. Ask your supplier to tell you their AWRS Unique Reference Number (URN); they will also show the URN on their invoices.
HMRC will provide an online service of approved wholesalers from 1 April 2017. From then, you should check that your supplier is approved. You should carry out this check, alongside any other checks, as often as you need to ensure you are making alcohol purchases from an approved wholesaler and not just the first time. The online service and guidance will be available on GOV.UK.
You will need to keep records to prove you have checked that your supplier is approved, so you don’t inadvertently become involved in selling duty unpaid alcohol. You will be able to print or save the details of your check.
From the 1 April 2017 it will be an offence for you to buy alcohol from an unapproved supplier. You could be liable for a penalty and have your alcohol stock seized.
You can find more information at: